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The only wildlife refuge in the northeast is in Val Caron and it needs your help

If you want to support the Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre’s online auction, you only have until Saturday to get your bids in
An animal care volunteer is seen here with a Blanding’s Turtle at Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre in Val Caron in the summer of 2021.

Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre is holding an online auction fundraiser. Bids are only open until noon April 23, so if you want to take part, you’re going to have to do it soon.

The auction is available online here. All proceeds go directly towards Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre, and the animals there.

With more than 200 pieces of unique artwork, jewelry and other handcrafted treasures up for grabs, there’s something for everyone – and lots of gift ideas for Mother’s Day.

Heads up, Letterkenny fans, among the items up for grabs is a Letterkenny hockey jersey signed by the cast of this shot-in-Sudbury hit show.

Turtle Pond, based out of Val Caron, is now the only authorized wildlife rehabilitation centre in Northeastern Ontario after the closure of the Wild at Heart Refuge Centre in Lively in 2019.

“We serve an enormous area — about 130,000 square kilometres,” said Gloria Morissette, Turtle Pond’s Authorized Wildlife Custodian, in a press release.

“This annual auction is one of the ways we pay for food, medical equipment and housing for our wildlife. The community really comes together to make it a success every year, and we’re so grateful for their support.” 

Turtle Pond has taken in animals from as far away as Kenora, Timmins, North Bay, and Manitoulin Island. 

Its intake has quadrupled in the last two years and continues to grow. In 2021, Turtle Pond cared for 800 wild animals, each with its own special dietary, housing and treatment needs. The costs add up. 

“It’s very expensive, and we don’t receive government funding,” Morissette said. “Even with all our dedicated volunteers working for free, our expenses are about $45,000. That’s why this auction is so important.”

Retired teacher and Turtle Pond supporter Sally Lesk looks forward to the auction every year. “There’s always an eclectic collection of items, and bidding is a lot of fun,” she said. “Plus, it’s for a wonderful cause. So many of the animals are at the centre because of human activity - it’s only right that we help them.” 

This year’s auction is more crucial than ever because Turtle Pond is planning to expand its infrastructure to better accommodate the increasing number and variety of wildlife, said the press release.

This will allow for more species-specific areas, which reduces the stress of temporary captivity, speeds healing, and improves care.

“Canada's wildlife is facing existential threats - climate change, habitat loss, and pollution,” the press release said. “That makes wildlife rehabilitation increasingly important for maintaining biodiversity.”


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